Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois received another grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA, to implement Challenge and Change projects in three Southern Illinois communities. The three communities where girls will plan and implement a project are Pontoon Beach, Roxana and Anna.
Challenge and Change: Challenge Yourself, Change the World strengthens rural communities. Girls become change-makers through such programs as they envision and start long-term community service projects in their very own communities. Girls begin with an initial day long training where they learn leadership, problem solving and entrepreneurial skills through a comprehensive curriculum. Led by trained facilitators, the girls discover what effective leadership looks like, connect with local experts and take action by digging into issues affecting their communities. After the training, girls recruit a community action team, including an adult who serves as their community champion, to turn their good idea into a sustainable, long-term project.
Pontoon Beach- Girls in SU 102 are excited to work with leaders to create a community park or garden in the Pontoon Beach area. They have met with the mayor and have secured a plot of land and are meeting with community members to determine needs and resources.
Roxana- Girls in SU 101 are creating a Heritage Garden in Roxana which will highlight different plants and natural features of So IL. They will be partnering with the Parks and Recreation to offer learning experiences for schools to bring students as well as encouraging participation from community members of all ages.
Anna- Homework Pals is a continued project which offers a tutoring program to Elementary students in Anna IL. This past school year, the tutoring program has moved locations from the local library to the Elementary school which now houses a new library funded by this grant. Starting in July, a summer reading program is being implemented so that students can continue their learning throughout the summer as well.